seems like these days most people will take on the "challenge" by covering a long distance really slowly.
race a sprint tri? nah... my first one will be an ironman.
do an all-out mile? nah... i'm going to skip a marathon and basically walk for 24 hours... i mean run an ultra!
compete in a criterium? nah... i'm going to "race" 200 miles.
race nordic sprints? nah...
i'm ok with any type of 'challenge', but it seems that there is SUCH reverence for "MOAR DISTANCE!!!!" to the point that anything short and intense is looked down upon. i wish there was some equality.
seems people would rather sit in an uncomfortable chair for 18 hours than go so hard for 3-8' and puke.
Sometimes ultra-distance events can be more welcoming than conventional ones.
I went from running a couple of half marathons to running a couple of ultras. OK, the first ultra I didn't get the training right, and after the second decided that was enough for a few years at least, but the getting the training right meant not that much more than a conventional marathon, psychologically it was easier, as there was no pressure to do a time, finishing was enough, and there was a nice sense of community.